Bristol CC Outdoor Education Centre situated in the village of Parkend in The Forest of Dean

Wednesday 16 November 2011

New Star Course Orienteering

We have created a new Orienteering Course less than ten minutes walk away in the forest. 18 orienteering punches are placed at distances between 50 and 300 metres from a central start point and radiate out in all directions. The start point is a junction of 5 tracks that is ideal for this style of orienteering course as each track provides a 'handrail' to navigate along. The group leader can give out maps  with just one control shown e.g. Map 04 below. Orienteerers then have to navigate to that control and punch their score sheet with a unique patterned pin punch before returning to the start to get another map.

This method of orienteering, known as Star Course Orienteering because of the routes taken out from a middle point, allows good supervision as students are only gone for a few minutes at a time. They then return to the group leader and can get further coaching as required. Once a pair of students has completed a half a dozen controls they can be given a master map to get as many others as possible in a given time.

The maps shown above are based on a satelite image to keep the 'clutter' down, but on the reverse of each map is the equivalent position shown on an OS1:25K map to help familiarisation with using this form of mapping.

So far these orienteering maps have only been trialed once with a group, but are set for some intensive use with 350 students using them over a two and a half week period, so we hope it works and we don't lose too many. Students that is!


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